Research Resource

Review of Michael D. White and Aili Malm, Cops, Cameras, and Crisis: The Potential and the Perils of Policy Body-Worn Cameras

Police body-worn cameras (BWCs) have proliferated rapidly throughout the U.S. since 2014, when several controversial police killings of Black citizens sparked demand for police reform. BWCs featured prominently among the recommendations made by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and have since been touted as a tool that can increase police transparency, accountability, and legitimacy; improve police-citizen interactions; and aid in criminal investigations.

Community perceptions: procedural justice, legitimacy and body-worn cameras

Body-worn cameras (BWCs) have received increasing empirical attention as more police agencies rapidly deploy this new technology among officers. Recent research estimates that around half (47.4%) of all agencies and a large majority of those with 500 or more officers (79.6%) have established an operational BWC program (Hyland, 2018). BWCs can improve police operations by providing objective, recorded accounts of police-community interactions that can provide valuable evidence in investigations.

Do the Effects of Police Body-Worn Cameras on Use of Force and Complaints Change Over Time? Results From a Panel Analysis in the Milwaukee Police Department.

Police body-worn cameras (BWCs) can help improve transparency, accountability, and policing behaviors. This study extends prior BWC research by using a panel analysis design with a measure of treatment duration to examine how the effects of BWCs change over time.

Body-Worn Cameras and Memory

Body-worn cameras can’t replace an officer’s perceptions, but they can be extraordinarily valuable when they confirm the presence of weapons, capture resistance, and verify de-escalation attempts. What’s more, it is expected that the presence of cameras encourages people on both sides of the lens to be the best version of themselves as they interact.

Officer Perceptions of Body-Worn Cameras: Directory of Outcomes

Introduction 
The research base on the impact of police body-worn cameras (BWCs) has grown rapidly, and over time, the results have become increasingly mixed. This development poses two problems: 
 

1. It is difficult to keep track of the quickly growing evidence base. 

2. It is difficult to make sense of the sometimes competing findings across studies. 

 

Body-worn cameras and transparency: Experimental evidence of inconsistency in police executive decision-making

Body-worn cameras (BWC) have diffused rapidly throughout policing as a means of promoting transparency and accountability. Yet, whether to release BWC footage to the public remains largely up to the discretion of police executives, and we know little about how they interpret and respond to BWC footage – particularly footage involving critical incidents.

The Effects of Body-Worn Cameras on Violent Police Victimization

Body-worn cameras (BWCs) have been presented as a technological innovation to cultivate greater civility in police–citizen interactions. Attempts have been made to clarify the impact of BWCs upon various policing outcomes, but the effects of BWCs on assaults against police has received scant research attention. Existing studies have been limited to a handful of jurisdictions with limited generalizability to a broader range of police organizations.

Police Body Cameras: What Have We Learned Over Ten Years of Deployment?

In January of 2020, the National Police Foundation (NPF), in partnership with Arnold Ventures, co-sponsored a one-day conference, “Police Body-Worn Cameras: What Have We Learned Over Ten Years of Deployment?” This forum explored what we have learned about body cameras—both through scientific research and law enforcement practice—in the years since their deployment, as well as considerations for future implementation.